Former Australia cricket captain RICKY PONTING "has signed a short-term deal to play for Surrey in a significant coup for the county," according to Tom Collomosse of the London INDEPENDENT. The deal means "the man who led his country on their last two Ashes tours" in '05 and '09, but retired from the int'l game in December "will be in England during this summer's Ashes series" playing for Surrey in June and July. New skipper GRAEME SMITH is the county's other "high-profile signing" and is due to represent South Africa in the Int'l Cricket Council Champions Trophy during that period (INDEPENDENT, 2/21). In Melbourne, Chris Barrett wrote Ponting "will remain with the county, whose base is the Oval, while the Ashes series begins at Trent Bridge" on July 10. "I'm exceptionally excited to be back in England," Ponting said, "I've only had one chance to play in county cricket before now, and I've always said I wanted to come back" (THE AGE, 2/22). PTI reported Ponting will replace HARBHAJAN SINGH as the captain of the Mumbai Indians for the sixth edition of the Indian Premier League on April 3. The Mumbai Indians bought Ponting "at a base price of $400,000 during the IPL players' auction held in Chennai earlier this month" (PTI, 2/21).
People and Pop Culture
Sportfive France has appointed BEN TAVERNER as sales director. In ’09 he became sales director of Juventus, where he was in charge of stadium sales and marketing. Taverner will be the head of sales for all marketing products in France, and will be in charge of the commercialization of the naming rights for the Juventus stadium (Sportfive). … Oil refiner Hyundai Oilbank CEO KWON OH-GAP was named as the new commissioner of the K League. Kwon, 62, will serve as the pro football chief for three years. He succeeds CHUNG MONG-GYU, “who stepped down last month with one year left in his term” and later became the new chairman of the Korea FA. Kwon had been serving as the commissioner of the Korea National League (KOREA HERALD, 2/21). ... Bundesliga club Greuther Fürth "has fired head coach MIKE BÜSKENS." The club "has not yet announced who will succeed the 44 year old" (BILD, 2/20). ... Iran Pro League Esteghlal FC GM ALI FATOLLAHZADEH "has stepped down due to financial issues with the club" (TEHRAN TIMES, 2/20). ... Triathlon Ireland has announced the appointment of CHRIS KITCHEN as CEO. Kitchen was director with the Performance Portfolio to the British Triathlon Board (Triatholon Ireland).
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British football player DAVID BECKHAM is "likely to become" the int'l ambassador for the coming 2013 Chinese Super League (CSL)." CSL President ZHU QILIN said that it is almost certain Beckham will be the CSL int'l ambassador "but some procedures still need to be done." Zhu "denied that Beckham will attend the opening ceremony of the new" CSL season (XINHUA, 2/21). ... The Singapore Bowling Federation named national kegler KEITH SAW as its "Bowler of the Year at its annual Chinese New Year dinner" on Thursday night (THE STRAITS TIMES, 2/21). ... Brazilian footballer NEYMAR is featured on the cover of Time Magazine's new Latin American edition for the March 4 issue (Time). ... Lions players BEN STOKES and MATT COLES have been sent home from the England Lions tour of Australia due to a "combination of drinking and late nights." The hardline stance by management "will serve as a deterrent to other young players" (LONDON TIMES, 2/21). ... Italian World Cup winner ALESSANDRO DEL PIERO has signed on for a second season in Australia's A-League as his Sydney FC side push for a play-off place. Del Piero will receive $2M. Del Piero said, "I'm very happy about this news. For sure it's a great moment for me, for Sydney FC" (AFP, 2/21).
Sky Deutschland's TANJA BAUER: "#F1Sky hab grad F1 meeting in münchen - planung für die neue saison! ist das schön!!" ... ("#F1Sky right now at F1 meeting in Munich - planning for the new season! this is beautiful!!")
Zeit Online's CHRISTIAN SPILLER: "Greifen Sie regelmäßig zu Dopingmitteln? Nur 53,4 Prozent der deutschen Spitzensportler sagten Nein." ... ("Are you regularly using doping substances? Only 53.4 percent of Germany's top athletes said no.")
Atlético-MG's RONALDINHO: "Precisamos ser inteligentes pra conseguir um bom resultado na Argentina. Vai ser um jogo muito difícil" ... ("We need to be intelligent to get a good result in Argentina. It's going to be a very difficult game")
NFL Europe's DAVID TOSSELL: "Nice work by @surreycricket in timing announcement of Ricky Ponting signing for day before T20 tickets go on sale. #NotJustThrownTogether"
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